Are you passionate about helping birth parents and newborns during their most vulnerable moments in life? Would you like to guide, support, and rejoice with families in their journey to parenthood? If so, enter the world of labor and delivery, where healthcare experts make a difference every day. Consider some satisfying careers in labor and delivery and determine which one aligns most with your passion.
1. Childbirth Educator
A childbirth educator provides pregnant people and their partners with the information and insights they need to make informed decisions throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery. You’ll typically need at least a high school diploma, relevant course training, and some certification depending on your location to become a childbirth educator. Potential employers include hospitals, birthing centers, and private practices.
Required skills: Excellent communication, empathy, and adaptability.
Salary range: $45,000–$60,000
Credentials/Certifications: Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE), International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) certification, or similar credentials.
A doula is a nonmedical professional who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to pregnant people and their families before, during, and after birth. Some doulas also specialize in postpartum care, assisting families in the weeks following birth. You’ll need doula training and certification through a recognized organization to become one. Also, one of the things to know before becoming a doula is that some medical equipment training is necessary despite this being a nonmedical profession.
Required skills: Active listening, emotional intelligence, and stress management.
Salary range: $30,000–$50,000
Credentials/Certifications: A certification from DONA International, International Doula Institute, or a similar organization.
3. Maternity Nurse
Maternity nurses care for birth parents and their newborns during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum periods. They monitor vital signs, manage pain, and assist physicians during childbirth. A bachelor’s degree in nursing is typically necessary, along with passing the NCLEX-RN exam to become a licensed Registered Nurse (RN).
Required skills: Attention to detail, critical thinking, and the ability to work on a team.
Salary range: $60,000–$90,000
Credentials/Certifications: RN licensure, Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification, Basic Life Support (BLS), and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certifications.
Midwives are healthcare professionals who specialize in delivering babies and providing prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. You’ll need a master’s degree in midwifery or a related field, and licensure and certification depending on your location to become a midwife. Employment opportunities are typically in hospitals, private practices, or birthing centers.
Required skills: Medical knowledge, leadership, and compassion.
Salary range: $80,000–$120,000
Credentials/Certifications: Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), Certified Midwife (CM), or Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credentials.
Overall, if you have a passion for supporting and guiding birth parents and newborns, there are many satisfying careers in labor and delivery to consider. Your role is essential in ensuring families receive top-notch care and support, whether you choose to become a childbirth educator, doula, maternity nurse, or midwife. Take the time to explore your options and find the career path that aligns with your skills, expertise, and interests.